The importance and disruptive nature of the inception of smartphones cannot be understated, regardless of where you are in the world. The convenient, surprisingly powerful, pocket-sized devices are now a key connection to social groups, entertainment, shopping, and research. As such, businesses across almost all industries have had to forge some form of a mobile access point, such as a mobile-compatible website or app.
It can be as innovative as using mobile phones to enhance a quiz night or packaging the full offering in an app, but in any case, smartphones are a core part of everyday lives and business now. A prime example industry for this is that of gambling. Once held to the tracks, casinos, and high street betting shops, online gambling offered a boost to the industry, but not as significantly as mobile gambling.
There are said to be over 5 billion unique mobile users around the world, granting access to the internet in a far more time and effort-effective way than computers. So, any service that embraces this aspect of convenience-first that has powered the mobile revolution can rapidly increase its accessibility and audience. Being able to place a bet or play a casino game as soon as you want certainly helped the rise of mobile gambling, but so did the inception of live options.
Live betting allows users to be on the outcome of events that are already in play, making quick access essential for users who want to make the most of the markets. Live casino games also build on this need for on-demand, real-life entertainment through gambling. So, how has the gambling industry and others made the most of smartphone popularity, and how has that influenced how we compare the options?
Adapting websites for the mobile-focussed world
Mobile sites are now an essential part of a new website build, with every site building tool allowing for a new site to also have a mobile-compatible version that suits the smaller screen. Most websites that were in existence before smartphones took over have also either created whole new platforms that are mobile-friendly or have built a separate mobile site with most of the same options.
It’s not just about becoming accessible, though, as making a mobile site can grant access to some innovative new functions. From quick-links that synchronize business numbers to a user’s address book to offering location-aware content, personalization is further bolstering the convenience offered by a mobile site. However, there’s a stark difference between offering a mobile-optimized site and a mobile-compatible site.
A mobile-compatible site is essentially just a regular website that’s been shrunk to fit a smaller screen. For the most part, strictly mobile-compatible sites are difficult to navigate due to the smaller menu and page links, require a lot of scrolling, and the media tends to be slow to load or not well sized for the small screen presentation. This form of mobile site is better than not having a platform that is tweaked to smartphones, but it’s certainly not the best way to have a presence on the mobile internet.
Mobile-optimized sites are a completely different beast, offering refined, touch-screen-friendly, easy-to-navigate platforms that appear more akin to what we’ve come to expect from apps. The site fits the dimensions of the screen, can be viewed in portrait or landscape, and elements like text and images are at the optimal size, being larger than on mobile-compatible sites and fitting of most modern devices.
The epitome of a mobile offering: an app
It’s been found that consumers prefer mobile apps to mobile sites, subsequently spending much more time in apps than mobile browsing. The speed, additional features, personalization, and user experience are all far superior in an app. It’s because of this that over 60 per cent of millennials download retail apps, and 58 per cent of the same group prefer purchasing through apps – which is also bolstered by a perceived sense of apps being more secure than the open internet.
Perhaps the only way in which a mobile-optimized site beats a mobile app is how easy it is to find. With a mobile-optimized site, users simply have to type the brand name, the URL, or even just some keywords into a search engine to encounter the platform. On the other hand, people have to actively search through an app store to find apps, presuming that they know or suspect that such an app exists.
In online betting and gambling, both mobile-optimized and apps are regularly adopted by the leading brands. Some have even managed to craft mobile sites that are all but identical to the app, only suffering from the inherent drawbacks of being browser-based, slower, and unable to be as immediately convenient. Still, it’s the presence of a little branded app tile on a home screen or within a folder that drives mobile gambling.
Mobile’s influence on the biggest betting companies
The craze of smartphones created yet another arena for online betting companies to battle within. Prior, it was about the best odds, special features, bonuses, promotions, and market range. While these are still essential factors, usability through mobiles is now one of the leading aspects considered by bettors when selecting their gambling platforms.
Some 44 per cent of online gamblers do so via mobile apps regularly, per the UKGC, meaning that an optimized user experience is essential. As such, the best betting apps need to tick several boxes that prioritize convenience, accessibility, and real-time entertainment. These are the key elements that make for a good betting app, with the best going above and beyond to fulfil these needs:
- Reliable and Fast: Apps have to allow quick access to markets and a speedy betting process to ensure that bettors can capitalize on their hunches as soon as possible.
- Usability and Design: Navigation has to be easy, and a sleek design can also help the user experience.
- In-Play Betting: Combining convenience with instant, live entertainment, in-play betting is essential.
- Free Bets ad Special Offers: As with all gambling platforms, customers expect enticing bonuses regularly.
- Cash-Out Feature: Building on in-play betting, bettors enjoy having the option to win their bet before it’s due if they feel the momentum shifting in a game.
- Stats and Live Streaming: Making the instant-access and real-time application of a betting app even more useful are elements like live stats and streaming, allowing for an all-in-one experience.
As you can see above, the key elements that make a good betting app mostly centre around being able to engage in live-action at your convenience. Furthermore, there’s an expectation that actions can be performed quickly and without any potential technical hitches, emphasizing the desire for convenience and access that we have while on smartphones.
The trend of people using their smartphones for just about everything has forced a huge shift in the betting industry. Still, those that have found success on the small screen have done so because they’ve embraced an on-demand, convenience-first mindset.